Dear Clients and Colleagues,
We hope this newsletter finds you well. In this edition, we bring you important updates on various immigration matters. Please take a moment to review the following key highlights:
USCIS Announces New Organizational Accounts for H-1B Process
USCIS Online Organizational Accounts for H-1B Filings:
In February, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will launch online organizational accounts for H-1B filings. This includes registrations for the FY 2025 H-1B cap and enables online filing of Form I-129 H-1B petitions and associated Form I-907 premium processing requests.
These initiatives represent significant advancements in the efficiency and accessibility of U.S. immigration services. Stay tuned for more updates and detailed guides on how to navigate these new systems.
Key Features and Benefits:
1. Organizational Accounts for Enhanced Collaboration: These accounts will allow multiple individuals within an organization, including legal representatives, to collaborate on H-1B registrations, Form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker), and associated Form I-907 (Request for Premium Processing Service).
2. Streamlined Online Processes: The introduction of organizational accounts marks a shift towards a fully electronic H-1B lifecycle, including the online filing of I-129 H-1B petitions. This move aims to reduce duplicate registrations and common errors, enhancing overall efficiency.
3. Transition to USCIS Lockbox: The paper filing location for Forms I-129 and I-907 will shift from service centers to the USCIS lockbox, standardizing processes and cutting costs.
4. National Engagements and Support Sessions: To assist in navigating these changes, USCIS will host national engagements on January 23 and 24, along with several smaller sessions leading up to the H-1B registration period.
Stay tuned for more updates, and be sure to visit greencardmaker.com for additional details.
Domestic Visa Renewal Pilot Program
The Domestic H-1B Visa Renewal Program is a pilot initiative set to begin on January 29, 2024. This program allows certain H-1B visa holders to renew their visas domestically, without the need to travel abroad to a U.S. consulate or embassy.
Here are key aspects of the program:
1. Eligibility: The program is designed for H-1B specialty occupation visa holders. However, specific criteria for eligibility are outlined in the Federal Register. It typically includes criteria such as the issuance date and location of the current visa, and whether the H-1B petition is approved and unexpired.
2. Program Start and Duration: The program is scheduled to start on January 29, 2024. It's a temporary pilot, so there may be a specified end date or a limit to the number of applicants.
3. Application Process: The process includes an online prescreening assessment tool, intended to streamline the application process. This tool helps in determining eligibility before the actual application.
This program aims to simplify the visa renewal process for H-1B visa holders in the U.S. and reduce the workload on U.S. consulates abroad. It's important for applicants to check the specific eligibility criteria and prepare the necessary documentation in advance. Keep an eye on official announcements from the U.S. Department of State for detailed guidelines and updates.
February 2024 Visa Bulletin Analysis
The February 2024 Visa Bulletin, released by the U.S. Department of State, shows minimal movement across most employment-based categories. Notably:
1. EB1 Category: No movement for India (stuck at September 1, 2020) and China (July 1, 2022). Other countries remain current.
2. EB2 Category: India's cutoff is March 1, 2012, and China's January 1, 2020. Other countries advance to November 15, 2022.
3. EB3 Category: India advances to July 1, 2012, while China remains at September 1, 2020. Other countries move to September 1, 2022.
4. EB3 Other Workers: India advances to July 1, 2012. China and the Philippines' cutoff dates remain unchanged. Other countries are set at September 1, 2020.
5. EB4 Category: No movement, with all countries at May 15, 2019.
6. EB5 Category: China's unreserved cutoff advances to December 15, 2015. India remains at December 1, 2020. Other categories and countries are current.
This bulletin reflects ongoing stagnation in certain categories, particularly for India and China, and slight advancements in others.
EB-5 Investor Visa: A Gateway to U.S. Permanent Residency
The EB-5 Green Card, also known as the EB-5 Investor Visa, represents a unique pathway for foreign investors and their families to gain permanent residency in the United States. Our law firm offers expert guidance on this process, ensuring a comprehensive understanding and successful application.
Understanding the EB-5 Green Card
The EB-5 Green Card is an immigrant visa category designed for foreign investors. It allows them and their immediate family members to live and work permanently in the U.S., leading to a Green Card or permanent residency.
Eligibility Criteria for the EB-5 Visa
To qualify for the EB-5 visa, applicants must:
1. Invest either $1,050,000 in a Non-Targeted Employment Area or $800,000 in a Targeted Employment Area or a Regional Center.
2. Create or preserve at least ten full-time jobs for U.S. workers.
3. Prove that the investment funds were obtained lawfully and provide evidence of the source.
The EB-5 Green Card Process
1. Application and Approval: File Form I-526 to demonstrate meeting the EB-5 requirements and evidence of your investment.
2. Conditional Green Card: After approval of Form I-526, receive a conditional Green Card valid for two years.
3. Job Creation: Within two years, fulfill the requirement of creating at least ten full-time jobs.
4. Removal of Conditions: File Form I-829 before the conditional Green Card expires to transition to a permanent Green Card.
5. Permanent Green Card: Approval of Form I-829 leads to receiving permanent Green Cards for you and your family.
Timeframe for the Process
The process typically takes 18 to 30 months from filing Form I-526 to receiving the conditional Green Card. The transition to a permanent Green Card may take an additional 12 to 18 months.
[Note: The information provided is a general overview. The EB-5 program and processing times are subject to change. We recommend consulting with our attorneys for personalized advice.]
Why Choose Our Law Firm?
Navigating the intricacies of the EB-5 process demands expertise. Our immigration attorneys provide personalized support, ensuring a smooth application process. We are committed to helping you achieve your dream of U.S. residency through the EB-5 program.
We hope you find this information valuable. If you have any questions or require legal assistance related to any of these updates, please don't hesitate to contact us. We are here to help.
Keshab Raj Seadie, Esq.
Law Offices of Keshab Raj Seadie, P.C.
Disclaimer: This newsletter is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Always consult an attorney for personalized advice.